Spooky Halloween Picks: Music Videos

Sheffield Gothic presents:

our Spooky Music Video Picks for Halloween

Its a Gothicists favourite time of the year, so what better time than Halloween to share some of our favourite spooky recommendations! Whether you prefer Terror Gothic or Horror Gothic, if you like your frights to be strictly PG, or if you just need a break from slaying all that evil – settle in with our spooky picks. And if you like any of our recommendations, or want to share some of your own, don’t forget to tweet us at @SheffieldGothic!


‘Spit It Out’ – Slipknot (1999)

Mary

If you haven’t heard of Slipknot before or seen photos of the band’s nine members, then you may be in for a little bit of a shock. Often described as a circus of horror, Slipknot’s unique, grotesque, and horrifying aesthetics are central to the band, and this aesthetic is epitomized in their distinctive masks and forms an essential part of their music videos and live performances. And of course, at the heart of this aesthetic is Horror. The idea of wearing masks originated from percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan, who started turning up to band practice wearing a clown mask, and thus beginning the tradition that each member creates and wears their own unique mask. Clown often discusses that wearing his mask allows him to be more authentic, and members have opened up that their masks reveal their true selves with their faces beneath being the real masks. Over time, people change and evolve, and this is also true of Slipknot’s masks. Frequently changed, updated, or modified, fans hungrily devour each new incarnation. Aptly, front man Corey Taylor collaborated with Tom Savini – horror special effects guru whose make-up and special effects can be found in films such as Dawn of the Dead (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) to name a few – to create his 2019 mask.

Taylor self-admittedly loves horror films, and has recently produced a horror documentary, In Search of Darkness all about 80s Horror classics. But the band’s love for horror is perhaps best summed up with their music video to ‘Spit It Out’, an unabashed homage to The Shining (1980). Intercut with shots from a live performance are scenes in which the band members recreate and parody iconic moments from Stanley Kubrick’s Horror Classic. Like Horror, and films such as The Shining, Slipknot and their masks are visual, visceral, and though horrifying, incredibly captivating. In this video, Slipknot’s drummer, Joey Jordison, is shown riding a child’s tricycle through corridors, emulating The Shining’s Danny and leading to his discovery of the nightmarish twin girls. Except, in this version, rather than revealing the girl’s murdered bodies, cuts from the twin ghosts reveal instead percussionists Clown and Chris Fehn mimicking the physical position of the girls, donning larger versions of their dresses, and holding hands whilst also wearing their own masks. The iconic recreations don’t stop there, and if you want to see Slipknot’s take on The Shining in its entirely, then this is the music video for you – watch if you dare.

‘Married to the Music’ – SHINee (2015)

Lauren

Shocker, Lauren is recommending Kpop videos! To listen to it, SHINee’s 2015 single Married to the Music is probably not a song you’d expect to be styled with Gothic aesthetics: but yet. The concept for the comeback was an all out colourful, camp, Rocky Horror inspired Gothic theme that veered between ridiculous and sinister. The promotional stills were styled like Hammer Horror posters, and the band’s performances all leaned in to a neon Halloween aesthetic.

‘Living Dead Girl’ – Rob Zombie (1999)

Mary

Is it Halloween if we don’t talk about Rob Zombie? Musician and filmmaker, Rob Zombie’s Horror credentials span across his heavy metal band White Zombie and subsequent solo career, his horror directorial ventures including working on several Halloween remakes, and of course the lyrical content of his songs and their horror aesthetics. ‘Living Dead Girl’ is the second single from Zombie’s debut solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside the Spookshow International, an album that explores Zombie’s passion for Horror movies. The song begins with a spooky sample from Lady Frankenstein (1971) – ‘Who is this irresistible creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?’ – while the music video itself takes inspiration from the silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). In the video Zombie plays the doctor bringing back to life the Living Dead Girl: with definite Bride of Frankenstein vibes, the Living Dead Girl also takes inspiration from White Zombie (1932), a film often considered to be the first feature length zombie film. If Frankenstein and/or Zombies are your thing, then this music video is a must watch!

‘Peek-A-Boo’ – Red Velvet (2017)

Lauren

You know the story: a group of pretty girls live in a sorority house, it’s a dark night with a full moon, they’ve maybe been luring and killing a series of pizza delivery boys. Peek-A-Boo kicked off the ‘Redmare’ concept from Red Velvet, a girl group known for their ‘dual concepts’ Red and Velvet, which combined bubblegum and creepy in a way that shouldn’t have worked but really really did. Their 2019 video Really Bad Boy also has a very strong Halloween vibe, not disimilar to Married to the Music, but is much more playful in its use of classic horror imagery. Whilst Really Bad Boy was a lot of fun, Peek-A-Boo’s subversion of the ‘girls home alone’ trope is much more striking and effective.